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Google on Sunday evening provided a more detailed response about “Issues accessing storage after updating to Android 14” on some Pixel devices, including how it’s working on a fix and possible data recovery options.
Depending on the device, this issue can result in the primary user being unable to access media storage. Alternatively, the issue can reboot the device with a “Factory data reset” message. If this message is accepted, data that is not backed up can be lost, and if it is declined, the device repeatedly reboots with the “Pixel is starting” message.
Google starts by saying that this storage issue impacts the “Pixel 6 and later models” that “have both received the Android 14 update and have multiple users (other than the primary user) set up.” This includes “users, guests, restricted profiles, and child users,” but not simply having more than one Google Account signed in “within the primary user or work profiles.”
The company has already rolled out a Google Play system update to “help prevent this issue from being triggered on additional devices.” To install, open Settings > Security & privacy > System & update > Google Play system update. The latest version we’re seeing today is October 1, 2023.
For those currently “unable to access media storage,” Google is working on a system update that “will repair the issue and restore access to media files without requiring a factory reset.”
Google is also “investigating methods that may be able to recover some data” for devices in a “Pixel is starting” boot loop. However, this seems more tentative: “We’ll provide more information as soon as it is available.”
For all other users, including those that factory reset their device, Google says to avoid “creating or logging into a secondary user on the device until the OTA update is available.”
Google ends with an apology:
We’re sorry for the inconvenience this has caused, and we appreciate your patience.
Android 14 breaks storage on Pixel 6 phones with multiple user profiles
Android 14 is a solid update to Google’s smartphone OS, but the update does seem to be causing some significant issues regarding user profiles on Pixel 6 series devices.
Following the update to Android 14 that rolled out earlier this month, some Google Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro, and Pixel 6a owners are seeing some considerable issues with their devices, specifically around storage becoming unusable. A growing number of users across Google’s forums, Reddit, and elsewhere reporting that their Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro devices are drastically hindered, to the point of breaking most tasks users would perform on their devices.
The storage problem takes effect if the user, before installing Android 14, had multiple profiles on the device.
Following the installation of Android 14, the main profile on a Pixel 6 series device seems to lose access to storage, which prevents users from taking photos or videos, downloading files, and both installing or uninstalling applications. However, on the second profile, things seem to work as expected.
Other limitations include that apps report the device as having no available storage, Google Photos can’t refresh a user’s library (only showing low-quality previews), and files can’t be accessed via USB from a connected PC, as one of our readers explained in an email.
Given that Android’s user profiles are more of a niche feature on smartphones (primarily used for personal and work profiles), this issue doesn’t appear excessively widespread, but the symptoms of the problem are affecting users pretty consistently.
Google has, so far, not offered any solution for this issue or public statement.